WATERVILLE - Robert D. Kivlin, 87, of Shawmut, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 17, with his family surrounding him. He was born Nov. 18, 1926, to Bartholomew and Josephine (Kunkel) Kivlin. Robert was one of seven children born and raised in Dedham, Mass. He married Elizabeth Barrett on Sept. 29, 1956. They lived in Oakland for many years ,where they raised their five children.
He joined the Navy Seabees in 1944 after graduating from Hyde Park High School in Massachusetts. Robert served his country for more than 24 years, including a tour in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. He retired from the U. S. Navy Reserve as master chief petty officer.
Robert was an avid reader throughout his life. He particularly liked to read factual nautical books. He talked about loving "just about anything that floats." His favorite vessel, however, was a schooner. In the mid 1980s Robert and his wife Elizabeth moved to Boothbay Harbor where he worked at Samples Shipyard. After retirement, he worked part time as a member of the crew on the schooners Appledore and East Wind; both on-board the boats and selling cruise tickets in the ticket booth.
It is difficult to sum up the life of a man who was so talented, loved and respected. He was very resourceful, creative and hardworking. He was an honorable man who was dedicated to his family and had a strong sense of commitment in everything that he did. Robert always had a great attitude towards life no matter the situation.
He is survived by his five loving children, daughter Catherine (Kivlin) Ladd, of Oakland, daughter Theresa (Kivlin) Gogan and her husband, Steven, of Shawmut, daughter Barbara Kivlin Miles, of Lisbon Falls, son David Kivlin and his wife, Laurie, of Madison, and son Michael Kivlin, of Scarborough; much loved grandchildren, Jason Gogan and his wife, Emily, of Waterville, Jessica Gogan Edwards and her husband, Tim, of Vassalboro, Erin Lee and her husband, Gary, of Fairfield, Caitlin Ladd, of Oakland, Ian Ladd, of Oakland, Nichole Grimanis, of Farmington, and Kayla Kivlin Breault and her husband, Mitch, of Madison; 13 cherished great-grandchildren, Abby, Katie, Gavin, Jasmine, Caleb, Timietheus, Amiyah, Ezekiel, Dylan, Micheal, Alex, Logan and Amelia; and one sister, Jean Kivlin, of Dedham, Mass. As a great-grandfather he would be tickled to know that the newest addition to the family, Catarina, arrived just a day and a half after his departure bringing his mourning family a new member to embrace and love.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, Elizabeth, of 54 years in September 2010; two son-in-laws, Steven "Bear" Miles in March 2009, and Jonathan Ladd in April 1995; and five siblings Marjorie, Doris, Paul, Joseph and Mary.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to those who helped take care of Robert during the challenging times. We would particularly like to express our thanks to Dr. Alan Barker, of Boothbay Harbor, who gave above and beyond with his time, patience and support. For several years we continued the long travel to Boothbay Harbor for medical appointments fearing that we would never find anyone local that could follow in Dr. Barker's footsteps. We were blessed; however, to find Dr. Roland Knausenberger, of Waterville, who had the same compassion and understanding. Others who were of special help to Robert and his family during the final difficult years were staff of Mainely Eldercare, especially Chelsea, other caregivers Jessica Edwards, Linda Johnson, Bev Taylor and in his final months some very caring nurses and CNAs at Lakewood in Waterville. It was a great comfort to see such compassionate care given to Robert in the final months and days of his life's journey.
Visitation will be at noon on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at Fairfield United Methodist Church, 37 Skowhegan Road (U.S. Route 201) in Fairfield. It will be followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. and a reception downstairs in the fellowship hall in Robert's honor immediately after. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lakewood Continuing Care, Moonlight Bay Resident Summer Cottage Trip, Attention Vicki Dyer, 220 Kennedy Memorial Drive, Waterville, ME 04901.
Family and friends are invited to visit www.mem.com to pay tribute to Robert's life, a service of The Fortin Group, VeilleuxFuneral Home, 8 Elm St., in Waterville; www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com.